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Profile Evaluation (no work experience, so kind of unique)

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Intern
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Joined: 06 Jun 2012
Posts: 1
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

Profile Evaluation (no work experience, so kind of unique) [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2012, 10:52
Hey guys,

I'm thinking about applying to MBA programs on kind of a whim. I don't have any real work experience as I went straight to graduate school after undergrad, but I do know that having an MBA from a top school can give you a lot of versatility career-wise. Anyway, I'm currently in an Economics PhD program (top 15), and I'm starting to think that an academic lifestyle isn't for me. I have pretty solid undergrad grades and GRE scores, but I'm wondering how much work experience matters; I've heard from a few people that it's everything in an MBA program. Do I really need to express interest in a specific career trajectory, or is being a 'blank slate' ok? Also, what would be my chances at top b-schools, specifically Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton (if evaluation like that is at all possible based on what i post below)?

Undergrad institution: top 10 liberal arts college
Undergrad GPA: 3.78/4.00 (Major: Economics, minor: Mathematics, 3.8 GPA in both), magna cum laude, phi beta kappa, top 5% of graduating class in terms of GPA
GRE: 800 Math, 710 Verbal, 5.0 AWA
Graduate institution: large public state school, top 10-15 in Economics
Grad GPA ~3.1/4.0 (not sure how much this matters, though)

Work experience: TA for the past year for introductory economics course, decent teacher evaluations; Research assistant for various professors, have a publication in an online journal in health-economics related stuff; worked at the Census Bureau for a summer doing statistical stuff and worked another summer as a 'development intern' doing fundraising for a think-tank.

EC's:
In college, I was a 4 year NCAA D1 letterman in wrestling. I wasn't very good, but I won some team awards since my coaches liked me and some academic achievement awards (like academic all-conference). I was also on the executive board for a few student activities and was on student government for a semester.
Manager
Manager
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Affiliations: Consortium
Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 209
Concentration: Finance
Schools: Cornell (Johnson) - Class of 2014
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 63 [0], given: 37

Re: Profile Evaluation (no work experience, so kind of unique) [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2012, 11:07
mostheinous wrote:
Hey guys,

I'm thinking about applying to MBA programs on kind of a whim. I don't have any real work experience as I went straight to graduate school after undergrad, but I do know that having an MBA from a top school can give you a lot of versatility career-wise. Anyway, I'm currently in an Economics PhD program (top 15), and I'm starting to think that an academic lifestyle isn't for me. I have pretty solid undergrad grades and GRE scores, but I'm wondering how much work experience matters; I've heard from a few people that it's everything in an MBA program. Do I really need to express interest in a specific career trajectory, or is being a 'blank slate' ok? Also, what would be my chances at top b-schools, specifically Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton (if evaluation like that is at all possible based on what i post below)?

Undergrad institution: top 10 liberal arts college
Undergrad GPA: 3.78/4.00 (Major: Economics, minor: Mathematics, 3.8 GPA in both), magna cum laude, phi beta kappa, top 5% of graduating class in terms of GPA
GRE: 800 Math, 710 Verbal, 5.0 AWA
Graduate institution: large public state school, top 10-15 in Economics
Grad GPA ~3.1/4.0 (not sure how much this matters, though)

Work experience: TA for the past year for introductory economics course, decent teacher evaluations; Research assistant for various professors, have a publication in an online journal in health-economics related stuff; worked at the Census Bureau for a summer doing statistical stuff and worked another summer as a 'development intern' doing fundraising for a think-tank.

EC's:
In college, I was a 4 year NCAA D1 letterman in wrestling. I wasn't very good, but I won some team awards since my coaches liked me and some academic achievement awards (like academic all-conference). I was also on the executive board for a few student activities and was on student government for a semester.


Honestly, I'd say that with no work experience your chances at a top b-school are next to nothing, unless maybe you cured cancer or something in your spare time. If you spin it right there's some b-schools within the top-25 that might give you a look, but it's not likely, and not H/S/W. And yes, you would have to have a VERY defined reason why you NEED an MBA right now and a specific career path it will take you on, B-school isn't the time to "feel things out" (actually in many cases it is, but damned if you tell the adcom's that). If you're set on a top-MBA you need some work experience, point blank. But, if you're interested in Finance (and with that perfect Math GRE score) you might look into Financial Engineering. Princeton has an amazing program and I don't believe they have such strict work requirements for those programs. Good luck
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Manager
Manager
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Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 82
Detail: MBA admissions help
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy
Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 2000
GMAT 1: Q V
GPA: 3.9
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 0

Re: Profile Evaluation (no work experience, so kind of unique) [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2012, 07:18
at HBS, there's an oppty to apply directly from Harvard undergrad for a slot at HBS, but HBS still makes you get 2+ years of work experience before you can start. I also heard a rumor of HBS accepting someone directly out of college (i.e., zero work experience), but the kid started some kind of multi-million dollar start-up in his dorm (not Facebook), and needed the MBA b/c he was managing a 200+ workforce and he was like 21 years old.

bottom line: H/S/W (and I'd say the rest of the top 5) will almost never accept anyone without REALLY GOOD work experience. It's more than just doing smthg for 2 years or so. You need to prove that you can be successful in the business world and you know how to move ahead. You also need to bring that experience into the classroom so that your classmates can learn from you. It's a critical part of the decision making, and I don't see any way around it.

Perhaps, as suggested earlier, a more focused degree could be a nice substitute? Sorry it's not more positive, but hope that helps,
-james young
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Former Kellogg adcom member, offering a new approach to MBA Admissions Consulting.

Re: Profile Evaluation (no work experience, so kind of unique)   [#permalink] 13 Jun 2012, 07:18
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